Category Archives: Follow Christ

Just Wanna Live Right

January 18, 2020

The Purpose of Proverbs is to impart wisdom for godly living.

Solomon’s fathering advice to young people and all who seek wisdom will greatly benefit from these wise words.   Discover the source of wisdom, the value of wisdom and the benefits of wisdom.   Proverbs gives practical suggestions for effective living.   They should call a person to action.  The verses tell how you can live in close relationship to Him and offers positive advice that helps you to make good and righteous decisions. –  notes of the Life Application Study Bible

PROVERBS 10  The title of this chapter is Wise sayings of Solomon

This chapter is said to specifically have been written by Solomon.

Verse 1 says, ‘A wise son makes a glad Father.’  Meaning Dad is proud and happy when his son/daughter makes good choices and decisions.

‘But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.’  I can think of a situation where the Mother is worried about her son, who is hanging in the streets and choosing a lifestyle that is foolish or a daughter who is chasing a man that doesn’t love and respect her and has her doing things that are not right.

God’s principles for right living bring lasting happiness.  Proverbs gives us general situations in the examples.  They don’t apply to every aspect of life.  But basically letting us know that the life of a person who seeks God is better in the long run than the life of a wicked person.

Some people bring unhappiness on themselves by choosing wrong living, but righteous people are those who love the Lord and are seeking to follow him.

Everyday has 24 hours filled with opportunities to grow, serve and be productive.  What are you doing with your 24 hours?  Let us see time as God’s gift and seize your opportunities to live for Him.

In the notes, it gives a chart of examples of ‘wise learners’ and ‘foolish failures.’

  • Wise Learners – Gladly accept instruction… Foolish Failures – Ignore instruction
  • Wise Learners – Love discipline… Foolish Failures – Hate correction
  • Wise Learners – Listen to advice… Foolish Failures – Think they need no advice
  • Wise Learners – Accept parents disciplines… Foolish Failures – Mock parents
  • Wise Learners – Are on the pathway to life… Foolish Failures – will go astray
  • Wise Learners – Will be honored… Foolish Failures – End in poverty and disgrace
  • Wise Learners – Profit from constructive criticism… Foolish Failures – Harm themselves by refusing criticism

Verse 20 stood out to me, ‘The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, the heart of the wicked is worth little.’  I’ve always thought, as a Christian that it probably isn’t the wisest choice to seek advice or counsel about godly matters (which is pretty much everything in my life) from someone who God.  The advice probably wouldn’t be as helpful.  I want to get counsel from someone who will speak truth, even if it hurts.  And someone who knows how to talk to me in a way that is teaching and encouraging.  Don’t hurt my feelings to teach me.   Who do you get advice from?  And when you seek advice, what do you honestly want to hear?  The truth may not always feel good, but when given in love; it will do what has sent it to do.  Counsel from a righteous person is like choice silver…it is valuable, you can give it to others, doesn’t lose it’s worth.

Verse 22 ‘The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.’  The notes say, Wealth is a blessing only if we use it in the way God intended.’  Can you honestly say you are using the wealth/blessings/resources that God has given you in the way He intended?  How are you helping others?  Are you paying your tithes with what He has given you?  Are you spending wisely?

Fear the Lord and prolong your days…be aware of the wicked and the destruction that follows them.  Choose righteousness.

Proverbs Reading – Chapter 7

The Purpose of Proverbs is to impart wisdom for godly living.

Solomon’s fathering advice to young people and all who seek wisdom will greatly benefit from these wise words.   Discover the source of wisdom, the value of wisdom and the benefits of wisdom.   Proverbs gives practical suggestions for effective living.   They should call a person to action.  The verses tell how you can live in close relationship to Him and offers positive advice that helps you to make good and righteous decisions. –  notes of the Life Application Study Bible

Read along with me…

PROVERBS 7    The title is The Crafty Harlot

Although the bible uses the female pronoun her and she and uses the word seductress to define the harlot.  I’d like to change it up a bit and say the harlot is a male.  Starting by repeating….

My daughter, keep my words, and treasure my commands within you…that they may keep you from the immoral man, from the seductor who flatters with his words.  He takes advantage of her, enticing her and seducing her.

In the actual chapter, the advice is directed toward young men to stay away and take heed, but the advice also goes for young women too.    The study notes state, ‘without aim or direction, an empty life is unstable, vulnerable with too many temptations.  I’ve often said in the parenting class I teach that we should not be ‘freestyling life’ which means going through life with no direction.   The best way to combat temptation is to make sure your life is full of God’s Word and wisdom.  Be able to identify the strategies of temptation and run away from it.  Don’t be full of yourself thinking you can over-power temptation.  You can’t.  God would not be giving us warning about it, if we could beat it with our own human wisdom.  We cannot.  At some point…temptation will win. And you’ll find yourself in situations and circumstance God did not call you too and that you now need help getting out of.  Don’t even put yourself in that position.

Avoid sexual sins.  As we read earlier…sexual sin is destructive.

1. Guard your mind – meaning what you watch or read…fantasies that stimulate the wrong desires.

2. Keep away from environments and friends that tempt you to sin.

3. Don’t think only for the moment – focus on the future.  What you do in this moment could affect your future.

Proverbs Reading – Chapter 6

The Purpose of Proverbs is to impart wisdom for godly living.

Solomon’s fathering advice to young people and all who seek wisdom will greatly benefit from these wise words.   Discover the source of wisdom, the value of wisdom and the benefits of wisdom.   Proverbs gives practical suggestions for effective living.   They should call a person to action.  The verses tell how you can live in close relationship to Him and offers positive advice that helps you to make good and righteous decisions. –  notes of the Life Application Study Bible

Read along with me…

PROVERBS 6

The titles of this chapter is Dangerous Promises, The Folly of Indolence and Beware of Adultery

Verse 1 says, My son (my daughter), if you become surety for your friend, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger; you are snared by the words of your mouth, you are taken by the words of your mouth.

Surety is payment of debt or making yourself responsible for another.  And snare means to trap or entangle.  This is starting to make me think about gambling or being conned by someone.  The bible is giving you guidance and warning you about people who may try to take advantage of your kind heart, of your naivete, of your ignorance.  Be mindful.  Be smart.  Although we’d like to believe that everyone is good, everyone is not.  As People of God…we are to love everyone, but we are learning here that we are also to use wisdom.

Overextending your resources is irresponsible.  Most times, we see our resources as money.  Yes it is, but there is more.  Your resources are the things you need, your basic needs as well… your job, clothes, your car, your ideas, your time, your intellectual property, your family, your home.  The study notes state, it is important to maintain a balance between generosity and good stewardship.   Stewardship is the responsible overseeing and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.

The foolishness of laziness.  That is what is being talked about next.  And it bible uses an ant as the example.  The busiest and hardest working insect on the planet!  Research how ants work, and what they do.  Proverbs warns against laziness, of sleeping instead of working.  I know I’ve been guilty of doing this.  It doesn’t mean you can’t get your rest, but I know for me; there were times when I knew I should have been up taking care of things, but I stayed in bed, over slept or even slept the day away.  Laziness should not cause you to not be able to take care of your responsibilities.

A wicked man is described in Proverbs as someone who walks in these six things that the Lord hates, Yes seven are an abomination to Him.  If something is abominable it is vile, detestable, greatly disliked.

  • a proud look
  • a lying tongue
  • hands that shed innocent blood
  • a heart that devises wicked plans
  • feet that are swift in running to evil
  • a false witness who speaks lies
  • and one who sows discord among brethren

In this chapter, ‘keeping your father’s commands’ means to listen to wisdom.  It will help you to make good decisions and good choices.  We also see God bring up the subject of adultery AGAIN.  I’ve learned in my spiritual walk, that when God is repeating Himself to you….PAY ATTENTION!  He really wants you to hear and listen.  Its a warning in some instances.  Take heed.  Read verses 20 to 35 again and keep it all in mind.  The Lord is very serious about the sin of adultery.

Humble Living…

In my reading this morning, I came across this word. Humility.

And then I heard the Lord say “Humble Living.”

What is humble living Lord?

So of course I looked up the word. Humble means = a modest or low view of one’s own importance, unpretentious.

www.gotquestions.org mentions that humility is a heart attitude, not merely an outward demeanor. One may put on an outward show of humility but still have a heart full of pride and arrogance. Humility is a prerequisite for the Christian.

The Beautitudes in Matthew 5 states “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  The poor in spirit are those who are humble, lowly.

I believe what the Lord shared with me this morning was a reminder for us. He seeks humble living from us.  The world can, at times can rub off on us.  If we do not have someone to keep us accountable, we can easily get off course.  If we don’t keep our focus on the things of God, we can easily get off course.  Remember, YES we live in this world, but as Believers we are NOT of this world.  We don’t act the way the world acts.  We don’t respond the way the world responds. We should be doing our best to not think the way the world thinks. Because the worldview is very different and contrary to the mind of God and the way God works.

In order to inherit the kingdom of heaven you need the power of the Holy Spirit to help you remain humble. This is not a character trait that comes easy to us humans who were born into a sinful nature.  We may be able to start the process of being humble, but to maintain and sustain it…we need the staying power of the Holy Spirit.

Humble Living.

I’m a big advocate of examining your life periodically. And making sure you are in right standing with the Lord.  Is your living humble?  How is your parenting?  How are your relationships?  How are your spending habits?  How is your behavior?  How is your Christian walk?  How are you getting along with others?  What is your social media interaction like?  How are you portraying yourself?  How are your thoughts?  What is your attitude like?  How is your stewardship?

I listed a few scriptures below regarding humility. Take some time and look them up.  And when you read them…read a few scriptures before and a few scriptures after…or even the chapter to see what was going on during that time and what was the point being made.

  • Philippians 2:3
  • James 4:6
  • 1 Peter 5:6
  • Romans 12:3
  • Colossians 3:12
  • Proverbs 11:2
  • John 3:30

I pray you will be informed and encouraged to do that which pleases the Lord.

And as always, we serve a forgiving God.  If you will repent (say your sorry and turn from your wrong-doing) he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Being Christlike…what does that look like?

Here is another blog post I pulled out of the archive. I wrote this back in 2015. I pray this encourages, teaches and blesses you!

On 2 separate occasions just this week, God has allowed the opportunity for me to see how a soft answer turns away wrath.  Very simple, yet everyday situations caught me this week and I had to make myself stay calm and be kind.  And I purposely did this because I am trying to discipline myself to be in a Christ like mode at all times.  It’s not easy to always be kind and giving and loving to people, especially when we live in a world full of people who are hard to love.  This is not always easy to do but because I always want people to see the God in me, I have to remind myself when anger or frustration begins to rile up…that I must resist it.  Resist allowing the enemy to use me in a way that will be hurtful to someone else.  Don’t get me wrong, there is some life situations that will get me upset, but it’s how I react to them that God is paying attention to.  Be angry and sin not.  (Ephesians 4:26) If my anger causes me to cuss someone out, or hurt someone’s feelings, or discourage someone, or hit and be violent to them….that is wrong.

In one of the situations, I was bringing my son to his 1st day of summer camp.  On this particular morning they were very unorganized and couldn’t find any of his paper work or registration papers and the woman I was dealing with really wasn’t being very nice to me.  She kept saying that she couldn’t find his folder as if I never signed him up for camp.  But I felt in my spirit to be calm and be kind to her.

While waiting, God was showing me that my son was paying attention to everything that was going on.  If I had gotten angry and acted out, my son would have started his first day of summer camp with the same angry energy, probably feeling confused and not knowing what to do with or about these feelings that I had given him.  We have to be mindful about how we behave in front of our children.  We are their first teachers, their first role models.  Thank you Lord for showing me that!

Despite the way she was treating me, I answered her very nicely and waited patiently. Now look at God….while this woman is telling me she doesn’t know my sons name, 3 different young ladies who work for the summer camp came out at different times and they all knew my sons name and stated they saw his folder when they were setting up.   One of the young ladies goes inside to look for the folder and comes back with it saying she found it and everything is accounted for and he is all set!

I was thinking…”Wow God, look how you did that, this woman was sure my son wasn’t signed up but you sent 3 different people who knew his name!”  What the enemy meant for evil, God made it for good! (Genesis 50:20)

We walked into the building, I pulled my son aside and prayed with him for covering through his day and I watched him go into his room.  God gave me peace throughout my day, and I know it was because I chose to follow His will by reacting in a Christ like manner.  I chose to show them the God in me instead of get upset and yelling and cussing folks.  I refuse to allow the devil to use me in any way.  I don’t entertain his antics.

The other situation was during my lunch break.  I ordered a dish, but first asked if there was meat in it, I don’t eat pork.  She said there wasn’t but when I got back to my desk, opened up the box…there was bacon in it! My first thought was to be aggravated and bring it back to them!!!  But on my way over, my spirit reminded me that a soft answer turns away wrath.  I brought it back to the store and approached the cashier to explain what happened.  That didn’t go well because she didn’t speak English LOL so I went looking for a manager.  This guy said he was the manger but when I asked him again, he really wasn’t the manager LOL (these are all lil situations that should get me even more worked up to be angry, right?!) I asked if he could help me, and explained my situation in a calm and kind way.  I walked out of that restaurant not with my small order I originally wanted but a LARGE order of something else!

I’m sharing this to help you to choose to imitate Christ.  Reacting to situations with anger or frustration is to react in your emotions.  When we react in our emotions, the end result is never good.  I pray this will also help you to see the many ways throughout our day that we can choose God.

For some of us, this may be a bit difficult at first because we are used to reacting in a rough manner.  You don’t have to choose that way.  You can choose a gentle answer, a soft answer.  You wouldn’t believe how easily that will calm down a situation and how pleased God will be of your effort.  God will jump to attention and move on your behalf when he sees that you are choosing His way. If you forget the first few times, its ok…tell God your sorry for reacting that way, pray and try again.

The only way we can know if we are staying in the will of God and living a life that pleases Him is by knowing what He expects of us, knowing the promises He has set aside for us, knowing his Word.  Read your bible.

Proverbs 51:1 ~ a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

One step at a time, one day at a time.  Every day is a new day to make positive change in your life.

I’ve posted a survey I found online asking you questions about Christlike attributes. Sit for a moment and take the survey/quiz. Sit where you are in this area. It’s exercises like this that help you to gauge and see where yo are in your Christian walk. We need to assess and stay accountability like this often.

Thank you to ideadoor.com for the image and courtneyaitken.blogpost.com for the surveys

Know yourself!

I was watching a Periscope awhile back of Daniel Stombaugh and he asked the question,

What is your identity?

He said “know who you are TO God and know who you are IN God”

And I kept repeating it over and over in my mind.

Know who you are to God.

Know who you are in God.

Many of us know who we are at work, right? We know our job function and what is expected of us. Know how to get to work, what time to be there and how to get our paycheck.

Many of us know who we are at home, right? Know our role as a parent, as home owner, as a husband, as a wife, as a child (well most times we do LOL).  We know where everything is and pretty much how to use it.  We even know how to walk to the bathroom in the dark.

In all our common knowledge and intellect, we are pretty comfortable.

But when you think about the things of God, what don’t we know?

Do we really know who we are to God? Do we really know how much He loves us?  Do we really understand the sacrifice that was made for us?  Are we totally conscious of His mercy?

Being loved by someone is a powerful motivator. It can give you an inner strength; it can give you a reason to wake up in the morning.  It can change your moods and brighten your days.  This is what God wants to be to us.  We also want to hear someone say I Love You!  Oh boy that would really take us over the edge. LOL and yet God does that every day…all day.  Are we paying attention?  God is love and that love is shown thru the beauty of nature and the fact that we open our eyes each day.  We are the apple of His eye.  A special people to Him.  He is longsuffering, which means he waits and waits and waits and waits for us to come to Him, completely trust Him, because his wish is that none should perish.

Do you really know who you are in God? Where your strength comes from?  Who fights your battles?

Greater is He that is IN me than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

Greater is the God in you than the devils in this world. You must remember that!

I believe having a solid understanding of what we mean to the Lord will help us to stay strong in Him. We won’t be so easily distracted by the enemy’s tactics, the depression, the hopelessness, the anxiety, the worry, the defeat that the enemy tries to lay upon us.  If we truly could understand how loved we are we could be stronger in our fight against the enemy.  The enemy should not be able to so easily get us off course, change our moods, or tempt us, get into our thoughts and change our atmosphere.  God did not create us to be led by the enemy or his tricks; God created us to be led by His Spirit!

KNOW WHO YOU ARE IN HIM!  YOUR IDENTITY IS IN GOD, YOUR IDENTITY IS IN CHRIST.

Daniel Stombaugh also said something else in his Periscope that moved me….

Knowing your IDENTITY always brings your purpose.

So if you’re not sure where you fit in, how God wants to use you, or what your purpose is, figure out your identity in God. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness and ALL these things will be added unto you.  (Matthew 6:33)  Which means….seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

How can you NOT acknowledge the Creator of your life in all that you do? What would make you think you should live this life never once giving honor to the one who gave you life?  We will love everything around us except God.

Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart”

Luke 12:7 says,” And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”

Before you were formed, God placed purpose in you and God knows how many hairs are on your head! He is that intimate with you, knows that much about you.

Let me remind you that you were created with a PURPOSE but you have to make the effort to seek God to find what your purpose is. If you want it, go get it!

Press into God even more so that you can be more intimate with Him. In His presence is assurance, confidence, love, peace and your identity.  Get to know Him, so you can know yourself.

I encourage you to get to know God on a more personal level this year. And if you’re not sure where to start in that relationship…reach out to me.  I will help you.

I’m praying for and with you.

Why do you hate them?

I am doing prayer in the mornings with a group and this morning we were praying for families and single parents. We were also praying for UNITY in the families, re-aligning families back to the way God had ordained them to be. The devil knows that if he breaks up the family unit he can scatter everyone so that UNITY can’t happen.

During prayer this morning, God shared this with me so I wanted to add it to the blog to share with you today!

There are some families that the members don’t talk, there is hate, discord and fighting. This is NOT how God wants families to function. This is NOT what He ordained for families and I have to believe that He is not pleased when there is discord, fighting, arguing and negative talk about each other within the family.

It’s so important that we see the destruction this causes in the body of Christ. You may not think this isn’t a big deal, but it is. Especially now that I’m bringing it to your attention. Now that you know the truth and know that God is not pleased with it, you are accountable to it. Scripture says that if we won’t forgive our brothers then God won’t forgive us. This applies to your family members to, you know. If you can only speak ill will about your family members…you are wounded. There is a wound there that needs to be healed. Even your sarcastic comments count. Your not speaking life or love. Your wounded. When you are offended by them, you are wounded. When you think that its ALL them and you have no part in the discord…that shows no humility on your part. Sometimes you have to say sorry to a person or a situation even when you don’t feel you are wrong. Let God use you in that situation to bring peace

But over time…we have been wounded by each other and family members. Those wounds then caused hate, bitterness, rejection, fear, unforgiveness, offense, etc. Now these open wounds need to be healed so that YOU can heal. So that you can move forward and not pass it down to the next generation. Wounds can be healed, arguments can come to peace and you can live better together with family. Let me say that I know there are some situations where the other person is unwilling to forgive and reconcile, those situations you can’t change; but you do your part. Be forgiving, love and move on. That’s when you LET GO AND LET GOD. Give them to God, pray for them. But don’t pray out of your anger and frustration. Let God deal with your heart first, so you can pray out of a clean place and with pure motive. Declare today….I CHOOSE TO FORGIVE! Even if you feel you have forgiven and your good. Still declare it…there could be some hidden places that you can’t see or have forgotten about.

Lastly, know that some of your family situations will change but some of them may not. That is ok. You just make sure your in a right place with God. Receive the change that God is going to make in your family situations. Pray for your family today…matter of fact, set aside some time to pray for your family….and maybe invite members of your family to pray with you.